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IAVI Grants Harvard Researchers License To Use AIDS Vaccine Production Technology

March 16, 2006

New York / Boston, March 16, 2006 - The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) jointly announced an agreement whereby IAVI will provide BIDMC researchers with a non-exclusive, non-commercial research and development license to use AdVac® technology, an adenovirus-based vaccine production technology, for AIDS vaccine development.

Under the terms of the agreement, IAVI will offer the use of the technology at no cost to BIDMC. The AdVac® technology was licensed by IAVI from Crucell, a Dutch biotechnology company.  IAVI and BIDMC will jointly monitor progress made by the use of the technology for potential application to the AIDS vaccine field. BIDMC is a major teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.

The technology provides a platform for BIDMC researchers to manufacture new adenovirus vector-based vaccine candidates for clinical trials. Adenoviruses are commonly used as vectors or shuttles in the design of AIDS vaccines.  The BIDMC program represents an innovative approach in the AIDS vaccine field by identifying and developing unique adenovirus vectors able to circumvent pre-existing immunity, which could reduce the potential effectiveness of commonly used adenovirus vectors.  BIDMC and Crucell have a long-lasting collaboration for the development of adenovirus vector-based vaccines. This program is funded by an Integrated Preclinical/Clinical AIDS Vaccine Development (IPCAVD) program grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

"BIDMC is an important partner in the field of AIDS vaccine research and IAVI is providing this technology to support their program and advance the field's development of promising AIDS vaccine candidates," said Wayne Koff, Ph.D., IAVI senior vice president and chief of vaccine research.  "IAVI is committed to sharing such technology with research teams throughout the world to accelerate progress and the development of an AIDS vaccine."

"We plan to apply this critical technology to BIDMC's adenovirus vector development program," said Dan H. Barouch, M.D., Ph.D., BIDMC principal investigator and senior scientist.  "It will greatly facilitate our ability to advance promising adenovirus vector-based HIV-1 vaccine candidates into clinical trials."

The IAVI-BIDMC agreement underscores the importance of bringing together scientific expertise and resources of industry, academia, government, and non-profits to speed the development of an AIDS vaccine.

"We have long-standing relationships with both IAVI and BIDMC in which our AdVac® technology has played a pivotal role," commented Jaap Goudsmit, MD, PhD, Crucell's Chief Scientific Officer. "We are very pleased that these two partners have now come together with our technology to further the vital advancement of adenovirus-based AIDS vaccine development."

IAVI's scientific program researches and develops AIDS vaccine candidates through partnerships or agreements with more than 20 biotechnology, pharmaceutical, academic and government institutions worldwide.

About BIDMC
 
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a major patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and ranks fourth in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide. BIDMC is clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and is a founding member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit http://www.bidmc.harvard.edu/.

About IAVI
 
The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) is a global not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the development of safe, effective, accessible, preventive HIV vaccines for use throughout the world. Founded in 1996 and operational in 23 countries, IAVI and its network of collaborators research and develop vaccine candidates.  IAVI's financial and in-kind supporters include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the New York Community Trust, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Starr Foundation; the Governments of the Basque Country, Canada, Denmark, the European Union, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States; multilateral organizations such as the World Bank; corporate donors including BD (Becton, Dickinson & Co.), Continental Airlines, DHL and Pfizer; leading AIDS charities such as Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Crusaid, Deutsche AIDS Stiftung, and the Until There's A Cure Foundation; and other private donors such as the Haas Charitable Trusts.